José A. Navarro
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Paseo Espolón 2,
09003 Burgos, Burgos, España
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The Arco de Santa Maria is one of the most important monuments of the city of Burgos. One of the twelve ancient gateways to the city in the Middle Ages, reports the Santa Maria bridge on the river Arlanzón, with the square of San Fernando, where the cathedral stands.

Originally built in the fourteenth century, in the next century, particularly between 1536 and 1553, was completely remodeled by Juan de Vallejo and Francisco de Colonia, resulting in the entry made with the typical white limestone Burgos, this time from the quarries Quarry Hontoria of which can be seen today. A simple door must have existed before, as the Poema del Mio Cid the event as the point of entry and exit of the city used by the Cid when he claimed his travels warriors. The Arch was occupied by the town of Burgos to the construction of the new Town Hall (built by Fernando González de Lara) in the eighteenth century. Between 1878 and 1955 hosted the Provincial Archaeological Museum of Burgos and in 1943 was declared a National Historic-Artistic Monument.

It is currently open to the public as Historical Cultural Art Center, with spaces for temporary exhibitions and museum.

The door was conceived how great triumphal arch, with organization of an altarpiece carved in stone and with a shot like a little castle battlements, which makes the whole a rather unique architectural monument. In the six main niches arranged in two bodies and three blocks, are important figures in the history of the city and Castilla Castilla Judges (Nuno Shave and Lain Calvo), the counts Porcelos Diego Rodriguez, founder of the city , and Fernando Gonzalez, the first independent count of Castile, the Cid, and the Emperor Charles I, to whom he dedicated the Arch City to curry favor with him after the riots commoner.

Above them, on packages of smaller size, are placed two municipal maceros ends and a balcony abalaustrado Burgos guardian angel holding a replica of the city. Presiding over everything is the Holy Virgin Mary, patroness of Burgos as defender of the city.

The author of the statues by the sculptor Ochoa de Arteaga. The facing is studded with loopholes, flanking towers topped cylindrical and four decorative escaraguaitas or booths.

The arch is covered with a vault, and you get this vault by a semicircular arch, in which there remains soffit allegorical paintings of the seventeenth century, in the main facade, on the other Trespuntos on the rear facade. The rear facade, simple, XIV century, it is a stone gallery under the roof, supported by wooden brackets.